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Kenya’s home-grown motorbike taxi hailing startup GetBoda secures Lions’ Den funding

by Felix Omondi

Kenya has its own ‘Shark Tank,’ but in Africa, the shark does not strike most as the apex predator. No, that title is reserved for the king of the jungle himself, the mighty lion. Hence, Kenya has the Lions’ Den; a successful team of entrepreneurs and business moguls who have a series of successful enterprises under their portfolio. And a Kenyan startup, GetBoda, went into the Den last week and came out with a deal.

GetBoda – motorbike taxi-hailing app

We’re an uber for boda-boda. We’re actually a logistics platform with on-demand services, from boda on demand, hailing, a courier on demand hailing and traditional logistics services” said Andrew Miller, co-founder of GetBoda, during an exclusive with Innov8tiv.

GetBoda is an Uber-like app for hailing ‘boda boda’ a motorbike taxi that has grown quite so popular given their efficiency and on-time delivery. Unlike motorcar taxi, the motorbike can quickly navigate through traffic and the city of Nairobi.

The startup began in 2016 when the co-founders were working at GeoPoll, and their job required them to up and down the city a lot. They quickly realized how valuable motorbike taxis are when you want to beat the chronic traffic that bedevils, not just Nairobi, but virtually all big cities around the world.

It also happened that they had a friend working for one of the local e-commerce companies, Jumia, and during the Black Friday sale season. That friend approached them and asked if they could set up an on-demand fleet of boda bodas. Ones that they have vetted and trust to get the job done right the first time. The team quickly brought together some six motorbike riders they have been using and put them on-call for any of the Jumia deliveries.

A week after, Jumia needed more riders and called on the team to add more riders. They quickly set up a vetting system and enrolled an additional 15 boda boda riders. It quickly became apparent that there was a market niche that needs an on-demand boda boda riders. Ones that have been vetted, are accountable, and available on-call.

The team quickly sat down and came up with the idea of launching a system where clients can request for riders from their phone or desktop computer. Have the riders pick up the package and deliver to customers. GetBoda has also established pick up stations around the cities, where e-commerce businesses that don’t necessarily have a brick-and-mortar store can deliver orders made by customers online. The customers can then pick up the package at GetBoda pick up stations. That was a B2B model, but they now server B2B2C, where the customer can have the package delivered to an address of their choice.

The Pitch before Lions’ DenGetBoda

Businesses and customers alike can request for a boda boda delivery using the GetBoda mobile app (currently only available on Android) or using the web app on any device. The company was recently featured on Lion’s Den (watch their pitch at this link) and can do monthly deliveries of over 4,000. They have a fleet of at least 400 boda boda riders, dozen truck, and van owners.

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